Missy Franklin Wins Third Gold Medal at FINA World Championships
BARCELONA – Missy Franklin (Centennial, Colo.) won her third gold medal of the meet Wednesday at the 15th FINA World Championships, finishing atop the field in the women’s 200m freestyle in 1:54.81.
Michael McBroom (The Woodlands, Texas) also brought home hardware for the U.S., winning silver and setting an American record in the men’s 800m freestyle in 7:41.36.
Halfway through the competition at Palau Sant Jordi, the Americans’ medal count for pool and open water swimming stands at 16 – seven gold, five silver and four bronze. They lead all teams in both gold medals and total medal count.
In the women’s 200m free, Franklin and France’s Camille Muffat jumped out to a quick lead, with Muffat holding a slight lead over Franklin at the first turn. Franklin took the lead at the 100-meter mark and looked poised to walk away with the race as the field approached the final wall.
Italy’s Federica Pellegrini made a move in the final 50 meters, but Franklin was able to hold her off down the homestretch for gold. Pellegrini took silver in 1:55.14, while Muffat won bronze in 1:55.72. American Shannon Vreeland (Overland Park, Kan.) finished seventh in 1:57.41.
“I knew (Pellegrini) was going to have a really strong second 100, so I tried to take it out with Muffat and stay ahead of Pellegrini in the second 100,” Franklin said. “I’m really, really happy with my swim there. You kind of use each swim to motivate the next one. That’s a best time for me. I told myself if I go a 1:54, I would be the happiest girl alive, so I’m happy with the 1:54, and it happened to be a gold medal, too, which I’m thrilled about.”
Franklin also won gold in the 400m free relay on the first night of competition and the 100m back Tuesday.
In the men’s 800m free, China’s Sun Yang held a half-second lead on the rest of the field for much of the race, with three or four swimmers sticking to his side the whole way, including McBroom, teammate Connor Jaeger (Fair Haven, N.J.) and Canadian Ryan Cochrane.
At the 600-meter mark, McBroom moved into second position and held off Jaeger and Cochrane over the final 200 meters for silver. Sun win gold in 7:41.36, followed by McBroom for silver. Cochrane took bronze in 7:43.70, while Jaeger was fourth in 7:44.26.
McBroom was competing in his first World Championship final and became the first American since Larsen Jensen in 2005 to win a medal in this event. The U.S. has never won gold in the 800m free.
“I was just trying to get out there and race, and see what I could do,” McBroom said. “Luckily it worked well for me, and I put down the race I thought I could.”
In the men’s 200m fly final, Tom Luchsinger (Mt. Sinai, N.Y.) placed fifth in 1:55.70, and Olympian Tyler Clary (Riverside, Calif.) finished seventh in 1:56.34. Winning gold was Chad Le Clos of South Africa in 1:54.32. Pawel Korzeniowski of Poland was second in 1:55.01, followed by Wu Peng of China in 1:55.09.
In semifinal action Wednesday, Olympians Nathan Adrian (Bremerton, Wash.) and Jimmy Feigen (San Antonio, Texas) qualified one-two for tomorrow’s finals with times of 47.95 and 48.07, respectively.
In the men’s 200m IM, Ryan Lochte (Daytona Beach, Fla.) posted the top semifinal time of 1:57.07 to advance to tomorrow’s final. Conor Dwyer (Winnetka, Ill.) finished 10th in 1:58.56.
Rachel Bootsma (Eden Prairie, Minn.) qualified sixth in the semifinals of the women’s 50m back with a time of 27.93, while Cammile Adams (Cypress, Texas) posted the second-fastest semifinal mark in the women’s 200m fly in 2:06.75. Maya DiRado (Santa Rosa, Calif.) finished 12th in the 200m fly in 2:08.28.
The top eight swimmers in each event will compete in tomorrow night’s finals.
The competition will continue daily through Sunday, Aug. 4 with prelims at 10 a.m. and finals at 6 p.m. local time.
Universal Sports and NBC will offer daily television coverage from Barcelona. Universal Sports will provide daily live coverage through Friday, August 2, at 12 p.m. ET. NBC’s coverage continues Saturday, August 3 from 1-3 p.m. ET and Sunday, August 4 from 4-6 p.m. ET.
For more information about the U.S. Team at FINA World Championships visit, www.usaswimming.org. For complete results, visit www.omegatiming.com.